Lots of motorcycle gear smoothly transitions from its technical role as protective clothing on the bike to stylish fashion statement off of it. And some gear is actually able to do both at the same time.
The now-classic one-piece Aerostich ain’t one of ’em.
No, fashion hasn’t been high on the list of priorities out there at Aero HQ, but the intent of the Roadcrafter, introduced in 1983, was to cover your cool clothes and allow you to transform from Gore-Tex Man to mild-mannered citizen in the flash of a couple of zips.
The new Roadcrafter Light has the same goal. In fact, it more closely represents the original “commuter suit” ideal Aerostich founder Andy Goldfine was aiming for with the original Roadcrafter.
First off, it is lighter, even with optional armor ($100), by approximately 3 pounds compared to a staffer’s Roadcrafter in the same size. Lighter shell material and a lack of liner contribute to the loss. As a result, abrasion resistance is claimed to be about two-thirds that of a standard Roadcrafter with its heavier nylon/Cordura materials. The idea is that during commuting, the importance of weather/impact protection and convenience is more significant than high-speed abrasion resistance.
Gore-Tex is the main water barrier, but new zippers and a few design tweaks help the cause. A word about the zips: Rubber-sealed waterproof YKK zippers (on certain pockets, as well as armpit and back vents) were quite stiff at the beginning and broke in a bit, but not much. The main entry zips—now by Italian company Riri because the tighter tolerances make them more water resistant—were also a tough pull. Later, Aerostich sent some Teflon dry lube, and all worked significantly better. Suits now come Teflon-lubed from the factory.
We were lucky enough (?) to have several downpours not long after the suit arrived. Number- one bonus of the Light? What we have for years affectionately referred to as “the pee-pee stain”—from water pooling and leaking in at the crotch area—no longer occurs. In fact, the suit did not leak anywhere.
When weather turns hot, the suit’s lighter weight makes it easier to stay cool. Armpit and back vents work with the new fold-down collar that uses (removable for washing) rare-earth-magnet hold-downs and snaps to keep it out of the way when weather permits. (In winter, we removed the magnets simply because it was easier to keep the collar up.) With all vents open, the suit breathes well, although on really warm days (85-plus), your (unvented) legs still get pretty hot.
Other nice touches: A cell-phone pocket has been added to the external breast pocket, and there is a carabiner in the left chest pocket that allows you to hang your helmet from the suit to keep your hands free.
The triumph of the Aerostich, and particularly the Light version, is that it lets you be stylish underneath and arrive clean and dry, no matter the weather.
8 S. 18th Ave. W.
Duluth, MN 55806
- Lots of sizes available
- More layering opportunities
- $220 cheaper than Roadcrafter…
- …but armor is not included
- Who needs style?
- Limited color availability
- Hope zips break in